Debt Counseling for Canadian Seniors

January 6, 2012 · Print This Article

If you are finding your credit or other debt hard to manage after the holidays, you’re not alone. Many Canadian grandparents are tempted to spend just a little extra on their grandchildren, and that little extra can add up when you start stacking on expenses like hosting a holiday dinner, traveling to see family and all the other “cha-chings” that add up over the holiday season.

While holiday debt is usually manageable on its own with a proper budget in place, it can be problematic if you are stacking it onto existing debt or the debt is on high-interest credit cards. Whatever you do, it doesn’t hurt to make a plan before you get into further debt, even if the debt seems minor. A good plan for repayment is especially necessary if you are retired and are on a limited income.

What Kind of Debt do you Have?
Look at the kind of debt you’re carrying. If the debt is spread out over several different credit cards, you may want to consolidate them into one secured line of credit if you have sufficient equity in your house to do so. This can save you thousands in potential interest payments if you are planning on carrying a balance. After consolidation, cut down your limits on your cards significantly so that you are not tempted to run up your cards again.

Buy Now, Pay Later: Bad Idea in Retirement
If you read the fine print on promotions that delay payment for a certain amount of time, the interest is astronomical if you do not pay off the purchased items by the time the promotion ends. Many people buy large ticket items like televisions and furniture on these plans and don’t realize until they get their first bill how large of a hit they are taking on interest, and by then it is too late to back out of the deal. Avoid these promotions like the plague, particularly if you are on a fixed income.

Need Help? Talk to the Right People
Credit Counseling Canada is a nonprofit organization that exists solely to help Canadians manage their debt, confidentially and personally. Contact them to get free help with managing your finances. Be wary of organizations that try to represent themselves as nonprofit credit counseling firms that are actually for-profit companies.

You can also talk to your bank if debt is becoming an issue for you. Many people who are in debt are scared of talking to debtors, but talking to your bank is a surefire way to get access to the resources you need and maybe even an interest rate reduction.

A Reverse Mortgage can Help
While you don’t want to consider a reverse mortgage for debt repayment as a first resort, if you’ve tried everything else and are still underwater a reverse mortgage can provide a helping hand.

Contact Horizon Equity today to find out how we can help you out of debt with a reverse mortgage.